Call for papers


We are delighted to announce the call for submissions for the tenth edition of VocUM, taking place on November 8th, 9th and 10th, 2023.


VocUM is an international colloquium organized annually by students of Université de Montréal from different fields of study relating to language. It is the only multidisciplinary conference in Montreal dedicated to language. Its mission is to provide a platform for young researchers to display their findings and foster meaningful discussions across diverse disciplines. By engaging in the annual student conference, participants have the opportunity not only to refine their oral communication skills but also to contribute to scholarly discourse by publishing articles in the journal Scriptum. Thus, language has been targeted as a focal point to facilitate dialogue between otherwise isolated disciplines.

The symposium, which was founded in 2014, is now marking its 10th edition. To celebrate this important milestone, the organizing committee has decided to plan a three-day program. In addition to presentations by young researchers and two plenary lectures, the program will include training workshops and a poster session.


Defined as “the ability to remember information, experiences, and people ” (Cambridge Dictionary), memory is an object of study that encompasses not only humanities and cognitive sciences but also various other disciplines. For the upcoming edition, which will be held under the theme “Language and Memory”, there will be discussions of not only the mnemonic functions of the brain but also the historical, political and cultural questions that are raised by our connection to the past.

Language and Memory, involves both unearthing forgotten subjects and illuminating current issues. It entails delving into the cognitive functions that enable remembrance. It requires contemplating and reevaluating the relations between collective and individual memory, heritage and transformation, and the preservation of cultural heritage. It prompts reflection on how the culture of immediacy influences our relationship with language and memory. It entails understanding the profound interplay between memory and forgetting. On this matter, Paul Ricoeur addresses the duty of memory – a concept he prefers to call the “work” of memory – in his book Memory, History, Forgetting. In this writing, he emphasizes the significance of this concept by stating:

“I continue to be troubled by the unsettling spectacle offered by an excess of memory here, and an excess of forgetting elsewhere, to say nothing of the influence of commemorations and abuses of memory—and of forgetting. The idea of a policy of the just allotment of memory is in this respect one of my avowed civic themes.”

That is why, as part of the tenth edition of the conference, the VocUM team has chosen the theme “Language and Memory.” It is an important subject that allows for an exploration of timeless questions.

The research areas linking language and memory are varied and can encompass a wide range of academic disciplines. Here is a non-exhaustive list of avenues of inquiry that align with the current edition of VocUM:

  • Conservation and transmission of memory
    • Archives and working with archives
    • Broadcast medium and accessibility
    • Traditional oral narratives
    • Rites, rituals, tradition, and continuity
    • Concept of heritage from all genders? (Matrimoine et patrimoine, concepts qui n’existent pas en anglais)
    • Question of canon and forgetting
    • Artistic and documentary work based on archives
  • Relations to history and the past
    • Writing as a historical tool
    • Rewriting history and censorship (or issues of censorship?)
    • Revision of narratives, renaming, or erasures of traces from the past
    • Post-memory and generational traumas
    • Post-war and post-colonial narratives
    • Toponymy as inscription and commemoration of the past
  • Fragility of memory and forgetting
    • False memories or invented memories
    • Phenomena involving the erasure or obliteration of traces
    • Concept of “collective amnesia” and memory biases (revisionism or denialism)
  • Memory and evolution of languages
    • Evolution of languages over time
    • Minoritized and minority languages / Vulnerable or endangered languages
    • Etymology as the memory of words
    • Genealogy of surnames (origin of names, matronyms, patronyms, aptronyms and other naming systems)
    • Evolution of linguistic ideologies
  • Memory and learning
    • Memory and transmission of the first language
    • Memory and acquisition of second or foreign languages
    • Role of different memory components in learning
  • Memory and lexicon
    • Mental organization of lexicon
    • The specific case of bilingualism or multilingualism
  • Memory and pathologies
    • Cognitive disorders and language impairments (Alzheimer’s disease, amnesia, anomia, aphasia)
    • Language strategies for memory enhancement
    • Protective role of bilingualism


Proposals for Vocum 2023 can be related to the following disciplines, among others:

Language AcquisitionComparative Literature
Applied linguisticsLiteratures
Discourse Analysis Musicology
Communication Speech Therapy
Didactics of LanguagesPhilosophy of Language
Classical StudiesPolitical Science
Art HistoryTranslation
LinguisticsAutomatic Language Processing

To accommodate a diverse range of participants, the VocUM 2023 conference will feature 15 to 20-minute paper presentations ollowed by a question period, as well as a dedicated time slot for poster presentations.. Students of all academic levels as well as young researchers are invited to submit their projects, indicating whether their submission should be considered for a paper presentation or a poster (at the discretion of the evaluation committee), or a poster presentation only.

Please submit your proposals no later than August 4th, 2023 by filling out this form. Proposals should not exceed 300 words and must be submitted using the electronic form available on the VocUM website ( The scientific committee accepts proposals in French, English, Spanish or German. However, the dissemination of knowledge in French is strongly encouraged.


Submission deadline: August 4th, 2023

Notification of acceptance: September, 2023

Conference dates: November 8th, 9th, and 10th, 2023

For more information:,


  • Halbwachs, Maurice. La mémoire collective, Paris, Presses universitaires de France, 1950.
  • Hirsch, Marianne. The Generation of Postmemory: Writing and Visual Culture After the Holocaust, New York, Columbia University Press, 2012.
  • Hirsch, Marianne. Family Frames: Photography, Narrative, and Postmemory, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1997.
  • Nora, Pierre (dir). Les lieux de mémoire, Paris, Gallimard, 1984.
  • Ricoeur, Paul. La mémoire, l’histoire, l’oubli, Paris, Seuil, 2000.
  • Robin, Régine. La mémoire saturée, Paris, Stock, 2003.
  • Robin, Régine. Le roman mémoriel : de l’histoire à l’écriture du hors-lieu, Longueuil, Le Préambule, 1989.
  • Rothberg, Michael. Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 2009.
  • Rousso, Henry. Le syndrome de Vichy : de 1944 à nos jours, Paris, Seuil, 1987.
  • Stora, Benjamin. La gangrène et l’oubli : la mémoire de la guerre d’Algérie, Paris, La Découverte, 1991.
  • Todorov, Tzvetan. Les abus de la mémoire, Paris, Arléa/Seuil, 1995.

Books, movies and music:

  • Ernaux, Annie. Mémoire de fille, Paris, Gallimard, 2016.
  • Gary, Romain. Les cerfs-volants, Paris, Gallimard, 1980.
  • Levy, David Guy. The Mandela Effect, Periscope Entertainment, 80 minutes, 2019.
  • Modiano, Patrick. Dora Bruder, Paris, Gallimard, 1997.
  • Penderecki, Krzysztof. Tren ofiarom Hiroszimy [Thrène à la mémoire des victimes d’Hiroshima], pour 52 instruments à cordes, Varsovie, 1961.
  • Perec, Georges. W ou le souvenir d’enfance, Denoël, 1975.
  • Proust, Marcel. À la recherche du temps perdu, Paris, Gallimard, 1913 à 1927.
  • Robin, Régine. Un roman d’Allemagne, Paris, Stock, 2016.
  • Sarraute, Nathalie. Enfance, Paris, Gallimard, 1983.
  • Stockhausen, Karlheinz. Gesang der Jünglinge [Le chant des adolescents], 5 1-bandes sonores, Cologne, 30 mai 1956.
  • Tessier, Éric. Tu te souviendras de moi, Les films Opale, 108 minutes, 2022.
  • Wagner, Richard. Der Ring des Nibelungen [L’anneau du Nibelungen], Bayreuth, 13-14-16-17 août 1876.
  • Westmoreland, Wash et Richard Glatzer. Still Alice, Sony Pictures Classics, 101 minutes, 2014.